I never thought I needed braces, you know, until a few people actually advised me to wear them. By ‘few’, I mean about 4 to 5 people. Even then, I didn’t immediately run to the dentist to get braces on. Thinking about it, maybe I should have.
It was 3 years ago, exactly on Chinese New Year, when my family and I went to Pulau Kapas. So towards the end of the trip, this photo was taken: (ugly picture alert)
The double chin and the almost sneezing expression kills appetite.
That picture was the push that I needed. Let me tell you, the experience of going to the dentist was the most heroic thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I hate dentists. I totally ate up the scary dentist stereotype and that’s why I didn’t wear braces sooner. If it weren’t for my own free will, no way would I end up on the dentist’s chair. But in total desperation(vain –_-), I went to the dentist. Alone.
My family was in Pakistan at the time. I chronicled it here and here. I could’ve brought someone with me anyhow, but thinking that I might chicken out if they do follow, I decided to brave it myself.
The dentist was a kind man, he briefed me on the procedures before attempting to pull out 4 of my teeth. I’ve never had needles touching my gum before that day and you can just imagine how nervous I was. I stopped the kind dentist just as he had the needle positioned near my gum, and told him to brief me again.
15 minutes later, gum numbed, 4 teeth out. Drove back home, cotton pad jutting out of mouth like a moron and showing grandma the holes where my teeth used to be proudly.
Four teeth pulled out, two on each side.
One week later, braces on the bottom row. Two weeks later, braces on top row and that’s how I officially became one of the braces club members.
Three months after putting on braces, there are still lots and lots of gaps of where my teeth used to be. Looks a bit frankenstein-ish. Tip for the first 3 months: Don’t show teeth when smiling.
Five months later, my front row teeth is pushed in a bit but the gaps are still there.
One year after, aligned and gaps closed but still not quite there yet. Gums still swollen.
20 months: teeth aligned tight, no gaps, no protruding gums. Just waiting for dentist to take off braces.
2 years of wearing braces, and they’re off!
Let’s do a comparison, shall we?
Before. (No braces yet!)
Because my problem was the protruding teeth, wearing braces kind of changed my smile. Before wearing braces, smiling without teeth was awkward.
To be honest, smiling showing teeth was also awkward lah before.
Ultimate before and after.
Anyways, people usually come up to me and ask how much does it cost to wear braces? Mine costs rm4.5k. It sounds expensive but you pay rm200 per month for two years. Mine took a short while, but some wear them for 3 years so that’ll only cost about rm100 a month.
For me, it was definitely worth all the trouble of food getting stuck in between braces, and explaining to little innocent children as to why you have metal on your teeth.
You’ll hear this alot. Beauty is pain, baybeh.
Take care. xoxo.
Update 2012: For those who are interested to know who's my brilliant dentist, it's Dr Tay Mok Seng. His clinic is Dr Chong & Rakan which is at Taman Segar, Cheras. Simply google to get his contact details. Peace out! Love xx